The Brit says he had originally hoped to retire after defending the middleweight title three times, but had to reevaluate after losing the title to Georges St-Pierre in second defense.
“When I fought ‘GSP’ and lost the belt [last November], I should have retired there and then,” Bisping said. “I kind of knew.”
“My plan was to defend the belt three times. [Against Dan] Henderson, Georges, the No. 1 contender — then call it a day. Obviously, I didn’t win the second fight, so we didn’t get that far. But that was the plan.”
Bisping had been flip-flopping on his retirement for some time, but feels he ultimately made the right choice.
“I’ve always wanted to leave the door open,” Bisping said. “Dana called me, and I even tried to dig my way out of it then. He said, ‘Hey Mike, are you sure about this?’ And I almost talked myself out of it. It kind of came to a point where I had to make it final.”
“The UFC emailed me and said, ‘Do you want to be left in the testing pool, just in case?’ And I said, ‘No. Take me out.’
“The time was right, honestly. It feels like a massive burden has been lifted off my shoulders, because I was always second-guessing, always thinking, ‘Am I gonna fight once more?’ Now, it’s done.”
Now that his retirement has been made official, Bisping says he’s excited to begin the next phase of his career in the mixed martial arts industry. From the sounds of it, he hopes that a key part of that next phase will be calling live UFC fights.
“I’m ready to focus on other things, and I wouldn’t have been able to if I didn’t commit to retirement,” Bisping said. “I want to commentate for [Dana White’s Tuesday Night] Contender Series, and then move on to calling UFC fights. That’s the plan.”
How do you think Michael Bisping will perform as a UFC color commentator? Sounds like a match made in heaven to us!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/5/2018.